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Super Savers - 2 Cents
Comments: 0 
An article on families that know how to save money. The theme, in my opinion, is really: "make a ton of money so you have the ability to save by either 1) owning your own (already successful) business, or 2) having both parents work. It would also help to have just 1 or no kids."

Although I love to pick on articles like these, there are actually some principles of saving that work no matter your income.
20 Jul 2010
Mark Nichols 
Taxes - 2 Cents
Comments: 0 
Yahoo article on taxes. It says 47% of households won't pay federal income taxes in 2009.
07 Apr 2010
Mark Nichols 
Fees - 2 Cents
Comments: 0 
Headline: White House reportedly mulls bank fee in budget.

The justification is that taxpayers have lost money because the government has had to bail out many banks. So this fee would hurt all banks (not fair to well-managed banks) and in my opinion, would eventually be passed on to bank users.

So we'd end up paying for paying to save some banks. Double dipping bailouts, under the guise of helping us.

Granted I barely know anything about this proposal, but it doesn't pass the smell test.
11 Jan 2010
Mark Nichols 
Comments: 1 
"Stocks rally after not losing as much as expected"
26 Jun 2009
Paul Nichols 
Waaaahhhh!!! - 2 Cents
Comments: 0 
Here's a quote from a BBC article: "The EU last week accused Microsoft of harming competition by bundling its IE browser with its Windows operating system."

Wouldn't want a business trying to beat out other businesses, now, would we? Same crap as the Windows Media Player issue.

Wouldn't want that company that sells window washer fluid to throw in ice scrapers too!
27 Jan 2009
Mark Nichols 
Stimulus - 2 Cents
Comments: 0 
I read a headline on Yahoo earlier today that said Obama's stimulus plan would create 3 million new jobs. Now a headline on Yahoo says it would create 4.1 mm new jobs.

...

That's amazing progress in a couple of hours! Or did the AP or whoever came up with the headlines actually finally read the plans?
11 Jan 2009
Mark Nichols 
Economy - 2 Cents
Comments: 1 
Awhile ago we were making posts implying that much of the economic downturn was due to prediction/pessimism. At that time, it seemed the only thing happening was that the housing market was "slowing down" - houses weren't selling for as much. Then the credit problems became more apparent, gas hit a zillion dollars a gallon, and people started changing their driving habits. Now, banks have failed, investment firms have failed, the stock market has taken a dive, and gas prices are now really cheap.

Here is a long 3-paragraph quote from Tuesday Morning Quarterback that kind of gets at our previous ranting (taken from ESPN.com):

"Oh No! Gasoline Prices Are Falling! Just last winter, gas at $4 a gallon was said to represent a super-ultra emergency, and ExxonMobil profits were said to be obscene. Now gas is $2 a gallon and this is bad, according to CNBC economics bobbleheads, who last week warned the lower pump price will depress oil-company profits. Just last winter, rising consumer prices were said to represent a super-ultra emergency -- now that consumer prices are falling, that's supposed to be bad too, owing to the possibility of deflation. But innovation and rising labor productivity are supposed to drive down prices. Lower prices are a core goal of capitalist economics!

These points should serve as reminders that the mainstream media always present all economic news as bad. Higher interest rates? Bad for borrowers. Lower interest rates? Might cause inflation. Normally, the media's penchant for spinning all economic news as bad doesn't matter -- but right now it does, as pessimism more than logic seems to be driving the weak economy. Speaking as someone who pulled the election lever for Barack Obama (and whose daughter worked for the Obama campaign round the clock for months), I agree with John McCain's statement, "The fundamentals of the economy are strong." They are. McCain was right! Innovation is high. Labor productivity is high. There are no shortages of any resource or commodity. Pessimism is driving the downturn, and that pessimism is advanced by relentless media negativism.

Even the Wall Street Journal is spinning events in the most pessimistic light. A page one story declared, "Investors in the U.S. stock market have lost more than $9 trillion since its peak a year ago." But there is a distinction between a decline and a loss. The paper value of U.S. equities has declined $9 trillion since the peak in October 2007, but many investors have suffered no loss because they haven't sold. Many people's houses have declined in value in the last two years, but most people haven't lost a dime because they haven't sold -- just as many people's houses rose in value from 2002 to 2006 but most people did not gain, again because they did not sell. Doing nothing can be the smart move in a bear market, and those investors, individual or institutional, who have cleverly done nothing have incurred no losses and are likely to come out ahead in the long run. Yet some insist on claiming $9 trillion has been "lost." Exaggerating the negative only worsens the economic-confidence picture."

One other point - TMQ is in favor of requiring tax exempt organizations (or at least institutions of higher learning) to spend 5% of their endowments each year. In a down market wouldn't that be making those losses real, then? Yes, unless the endowment moolah is in fixed-return kinds of investments.
25 Nov 2008
Mark Nichols 
Comments: 1 
From BBC's website: This Day in History
1929: The Wall Street Crash begins in New York with Black Thursday. It causes a worldwide economic depression.

...Interesting that today worldwide markets are violently continuing their recent downward trend. Seems like a lot of over-reaction in the markets, but as long as we actually come out the other side of this mess with better spending/credit habits, I'm not sure I mind all that much.
24 Oct 2008
Mark Nichols 
Economy - 2 Cents
Comments: 0 
Stock Market Recovery watch on CNN

Above is an article that is already predicting an upswing in the markets. If these predictions are anything like the predictions for the downswing, wait about 4 months and then start buying.
08 Jul 2008
Mark Nichols 
Comments: 0 
Here's an article about why expensive gas is a good thing. It's always nice to get perspective on how the dominoes might fall. Especially since we're used to only hearing about the first domino.
02 Jul 2008
Mark Nichols 

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